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Top tips for sports fans in Canada

Published January 23rd, 2016

Sports fans will find it difficult to get bored in Canada; the country is renowned for its sporting spectacles. Why not watch rodeo at the Calgary Stampede, try your hand at five-pin bowling, catch a lacrosse game or test out your lumberjack skills in Vancouver?

Here's our guide to the top 10 things to do as a sports fan on holiday in Canada.

1. Stomp off to the Calgary Stampede, Alberta

Running from July 8-17, the “greatest outdoor show on Earth” features such rodeo favourites as bull riding, steer wrestling and calf roping, as well as country music concerts, chuckwagon races and a full animal and agricultural show. Put on your Stetson and take in the fun in style.

2. Look in on a lacrosse match

Canada’s official sport, lacrosse was invented by the First Nations people and played as early as the 17th century.

A fast-paced and physical game played with sticks with nets on the end to catch and throw the ball, field lacrosse events are held in numerous sports grounds across the country ever summer.

3. Pin your hopes on five-pin bowling, Vancouver

Only played in Canada, five-pin bowling was devised by Thomas F Ryan at his Toronto Bowling Club in 1909 after customers complained that the 10-pin game was too strenuous.

With a much lighter ball and smaller pins, five-pin bowling is easier. Most towns and cities have bowling lanes. Check the local Yellow Pages or ask a hotel concierge.

4. Lumber along to the Lumberjack Games, Vancouver

Forestry was one of Western Canada’s first industries and the old-fashioned skills used by the first lumberjacks make for a thrilling spectacle.

Daily from May until October on Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver, you can witness check-shirted woodsmen compete for the top crown in such events as log-rolling, axe-throwing, tree-climbing and the exciting springboard chop.

#lumberjackgames #corbanu

A photo posted by eugeneedwards (@eugeneedwards) on

5. Round off your golf skills

Canada’s gorgeous landscape makes the country a top destination for golfers. If you’re more of a watcher, the Glen Abbey Golf Club, Ontario (an hour’s drive from Toronto) is hosting this year’s Canadian Open PGA Tour event from July 18-24.

Players may want to check out Highland Links in Nova Scotia, which is often ranked the top course in Canada.


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6. Hit the road for some motorsport, Montreal

Petrolheads will want to be in Montreal on the weekend of June 10-12 for the Canadian Grand Prix. The 4.3-kilometre Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, named after the Canadian Formula One legend who sadly died following a crash in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix in 1982, has played host to numerous thrilling races over the years.

7. Oar’s well in Ontario

The Royal Canadian Henley Regatta is North America’s largest rowing event, which sees about 2,800 men and women from more than 150 clubs descend on the lakeside town of St Catharines, Ontario.

The competition, which takes its name from its English cousin, began in 1880 and has taken place on St Catharines’ Martindale Pond, site of the 1999 World Rowing Championships, since 1903. This year it’s on July 31 - August 7.

Gunna miss racing with you buoys! #royalcanadianhenleyregatta #rowwest #rowing #yyc #rowingrelated

A photo posted by Liam Vanderbeek (@_vanderbeeker_) on

8. Horses on courses in Toronto

Fancy a flutter? Then head to the Woodbine race course in Toronto in June for the Queen’s Plate, Canada’s oldest and most prestigious horse race.

The flat race for three-year-old Canadian-bred horses was founded in 1860 by Queen Victoria, with the princely sum of 50 guineas awarded to the winner.

9. The ultimate in team games

A favourite of university students, Ultimate Frisbee is a non-contact cross between netball (players cannot run when in possession of the Frisbee) and rugby sevens, in that teams of seven attempt to pass the Frisbee without dropping it until they reach the opposition’s end zone.

Most cities have casual leagues that run throughout the summer, where it can be easy to pick up a game. The Canadian championships are held in August.

Over the weekend the @nyrumble beat @thedccurrent 16-13! #ThisIsUltimate #MLUltimate

A photo posted by Major League Ultimate (@mlultimate) on

10. Here’s a shore thing

Join in with the bronzed volleyball teams that play daily throughout the summer on the sands of Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach or see the professional pairs from the Swatch World Tour do battle at the Quebec Open in Quebec City.

And don’t forget that Canada also has major league soccer, baseball and its own version of gridiron football – plus ice hockey if you’re in Canada early or late season. All welcome spectators.


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This article was from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

The Daily Telegraph

The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning UK English language broadsheet newspaper, published in London by Telegraph Media Group and distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally.